The Role of Reading in Enhancing PSLE English Composition Skills

The Role of Reading in Enhancing PSLE English Composition Skills


The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a significant milestone for Singaporean students. Among the subjects tested, English composition holds a pivotal role. It gauges the students’ proficiency in written communication and their ability to express ideas creatively and coherently. In this regard, reading stands as an incredibly effective tool to augment these skills. This article discusses the indispensable role of reading in enhancing PSLE English composition skills.

The Interconnection of Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are two sides of the same coin, intricately linked in the language acquisition process. An individual’s writing skill is a reflection of their reading habits. Reading equips students with the necessary lexical resources and grammar structures. It exposes them to various writing styles, themes, and genres, helping them understand how different elements of a story interconnect to create a cohesive narrative. In the context of PSLE English composition, this understanding is paramount.

Reading Broadens Vocabulary

One of the benefits of frequent reading is the natural expansion of vocabulary. The more diverse a student’s reading habits are, the more varied their word bank becomes. For instance, reading fantasy novels introduces words that are unique to that genre, while scientific articles may introduce technical terms. This wider vocabulary helps students express their ideas more precisely in their compositions, leading to higher scores in the PSLE English paper.

Enhancing Understanding of Sentence Structure and Grammar

By reading various texts, students gain an implicit understanding of the English language’s syntax and grammar. They absorb how sentences are structured, how paragraphs are organized, and how punctuation is used to bring meaning and rhythm to the text. This grammatical competency translates into more sophisticated and accurate writing, an essential aspect of excelling in English composition for PSLE.

Stimulating Creativity and Imagination

Books are the portals to other realms, timelines, and perspectives, thereby fostering creativity and imagination. By immersing in diverse narratives, students broaden their understanding of the world, empathize with various characters, and visualize numerous scenarios. This imaginative capability allows students to create engaging and compelling compositions that captivate readers and examiners alike.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Reading goes beyond mere absorption of information. It cultivates critical thinking, as students analyze the plot, decipher the characters’ motivations, and interpret underlying themes. As students learn to read between the lines, they improve their analytical skills, essential for crafting well-structured and thought-provoking compositions.

Inspiring Writing Style

Every author has a unique writing style that shines through their work. By reading books from different authors, students are exposed to various writing styles and techniques. These can range from descriptive and persuasive writing to narrative and expository styles. This exposure can inspire students to develop and refine their own writing style, making their compositions distinctive and engaging.


Undoubtedly, reading plays a crucial role in enhancing English composition skills for the PSLE. It broadens vocabulary, improves grammatical proficiency, stimulates imagination, develops critical thinking, and inspires unique writing styles. It is through the magical realms of books that students learn to navigate the intricate world of language, wielding their pens to create compelling narratives that will help them excel in their PSLE English composition.

As the adage goes, “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.” For students preparing for PSLE English composition, reading is more than a pastime; it’s a powerful strategy to ace their exams and a lifelong skill that goes beyond the classroom walls.